What do Kali, Sara, Ava and Mina have in common? The answer might surprise - and shock - you: the threat of violence.
Violence against women and girls remains one of the most persistent, systematic and widespread human rights violations.
- Every year, 15 million girls get married before the age of 18 – that's 1 girl every 2 seconds;
- As many as 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives;
- More than 246 million children are subjected to gender-based violence in or around schools every year;
- 70% of human trafficking victims globally are women and girls; 3 out of 4 of them are sexually exploited.
It is rooted in gender inequality and the harmful social and gender norms which perpetuate men’s control and sense of entitlement over women and girls.
Violence against women and girls can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. There is nothing that justifies it and it is never the target’s fault.
It persists in every country and can occur in private and public spaces regardless of age, education or socioeconomic status.
But it can - and must - be stopped.
Ending violence against women and girls in the long-term is complex. It requires interventions across sectors and levels to tackle the deeply-rooted gender inequality which fuels it.
Everybody has a role to play. Individually and collectively, we must become positive bystanders, standing up for the rights of women and girls and pro-actively speaking out against discrimination and abuse.
By calling out harmful behaviours and attitudes, we will challenge the ingrained norms and inequalities which perpetuate violence.
Promoting positive masculinity, which includes being kind, respective and emotional, will also help create a cultural shift in which to be a man does not mean being violent.
As part of the Spotlight Initiative, the EU and UN have launched #HerStoryOurStory - a joint campaign to raise awareness of the prevalence and impact of violence against women and girls, while demonstrating that we all have a role to play in ending it. Starting now.
So play the game and find out how you can help Kali and her friends live a life free from violence - then take the pledge and challenge your friends, family members and colleagues to do the same!
#HerStoryOurStory is part of the #SpotlightENDViolence Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls. Established by the European Union and the United Nations, the Spotlight Initiative will provide targeted, large-scale investments in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Pacific and the Caribbean, aimed at achieving significant improvements in the lives of women and girls. For more information visit the Spotlight Initiative website.